This one is for the ladies. A potentially triggering post on human expectations.
Tell me if I am wrong.
You can be a top-notch human being with the XX chromosome and cook, clean, raise the children properly, stay hydrated, mind your damn business, fight to protect yourself, secure the bag, fulfil your dreams, do squats, destroy the patriarchy, pray, moisturize, be a role model, protect yourself, be a sex goddess, read books, top your career field, manage mood swings, puff up a sada roti, shatter the glass ceiling, practise self-care, check in with your friends, do your Kegels, decide what you want to eat when prompted and people will STILL side-eye you and have an opinion on how you should live, sometimes even boldly taking up said issue with you.
I realize that people love to make pronouncements on a woman’s life just because it is the historically, socially and (especially in Trinidad and Tobago) culturally acceptable thing to do. Sadly, a lot of these pronouncements come from women as well, a thing of wonder, as if we don’t have to fight up enough while being considered the weaker sex. This idea that people are just free to express themselves and say whatever they want to women without responsibility, measured compassion or the faintest of consideration is mind-boggling. The gag is however, armed with this knowledge, you are free to measure out your own response as you see fit against whomever you are defending yourself for the sake of your sanity.
So if you are:
Single and they’re asking you why you still single,
Single with child/children and they’re asking “where de father?”,
Single with child/children and dating and they’re wondering what example you’re setting,
With someone and they’re asking why you’re with that person (“you could do so much better!”),
With someone and they’re asking when you getting married (“you eh lock he down yet?”),
Married without children and they’re asking when the children coming,
Married with one child and they’re asking when you making the rest (“The child will be lonely!”),
Mastering your career/business and they consider you a failure because you’re not with someone or married (“all ah dat and she cyah find a man yet”),
Mastering your career/business and they think you are selfish for not having children,
Not wanting children and they also think you are selfish for being as you are,
Actually wanting more than the usual three or four children and they think you are crazy/in a cult,
With someone of your race………
With someone of another race…….
Happily working in a field and they’re wondering how much money you could possibly be making,
Struggling with fertility and they’re thinking you are an alien,
Struggling with weight issues and they’re asking if you’re pregnant,
Struggling with weight issues and they’re thinking you have AIDS or a demon inside you and you need deliverance (“You eh see how she drying up?),
High maintenance and they’re whispering “who she feel she is?”,
Not as high maintenance and they wonder “oh gosh, you hadda be looking drag up so?”,
chances are you have felt the disdain. The statements and questions are just put out there into the universe without consideration of what women are going through in their personal situations and even more within their mental and emotional spaces!
Man, I could go on, but the main take away here is you CYANNOT please everyone so why waste precious brain cells trying to think that you can? The Bible says in Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. We are put here on this earthly space to sharpen each other, to encourage each other, to gas each other up and (to completely mash up this metaphor), to ensure that we are all acute and razor-edged to glint in the freaking sun.
To my sisters, just remember nobody is running your life’s race but you and I am yet to see a race ran with athletes taking the exact, same stride from the gun blast to the ribbon. So be kind to yourself and protect your head space. Find those around you who keep you sharp and keep them close. As for the others who want to dull your shine and keep you matte and muted because of how they perceive your life is to be led, your responses could range from the silent, to the polite, to the sarcastic, to the IDGAF.